With the 2015-16 NFL going through the playoff stages in these middle weeks of January 2016 we thought it might be interesting to take a look at the playoff hopefuls who seek to win the Lombardi Trophy since the postseason playoffs are underway. So we will preview some of the candidates who are leading the way and some dark horses that could come from nowhere after this 1st weekend of the playoffs!
Yes, the favorites are the Arizona Cardinals despite the fact that they were routed by the Seahawks in their season finale. But presently they are at +400 as a favorite to win Super Bowl 50. If you Bet on NFL sat the SBG Sportsbook continue reading for an insight on these favorites to Super Bowl 50.
The season for the Cardinals was a super season and the best in the team and franchise history in 2015. This season the team was led by comeback QB C. Palmer and a great team of receivers, as the team finished the season with a franchise best in wins, point differences and total points scored in 2015.
One thing that worded to their advantage in 2015 was the healthy state of the team players. Even with star RB C. Johnson out, another Johnson, D. at RB played very well. The same was true for their defense that lost their star FS T. Mathieu, but still played strong in his absence.
Since the Cardinals do not exhibit a weakness on offense nor defense, they are in a good position to be the early leader in the playoff odds.
New England Patriots
Then one certainly cannot overlook the reigning champions the New England Patriots, even as they have had more than their share of injuries in 2015 on both sides of the ball. Yes, and add the disgracing loss to the Dolphins last Sunday and we wonder why they are still a favorite at +425 for Super Bowl 50.
Presumably that was the decision of the powers to be in Las Vegas as they think they can repeat their Championship in Super Bowl 50. They believe that all that is required for the Patriots are 3 key persons, Coach B. Belichick, QB T. Brady and TE R. Gronkowski for the win.
Yes they believe as long as Belichick making the calls, the Brady and Gronk connection is alive, and having a 1st round bye allows some team members, including QB Brady to recover from injuries. Remember that in the past 15 season the Patriots were always a team to overcome in the playoffs.
Another strong team is the Carolina Panthers with present odds at +450 to win the Super Bowl 50 as are their rivals in the NFC the Seahawks of Seattle. In the history of the NFL the Panthers are jus the 7th team to end their season with 15 wins in their regular 2015 season, and their QB Newton if he continues with his success, he may very well win the NFL MVP this season.
But, we must remember that in their last few season games the Panther s struggled on defense, and they may well be the reason the oddsmakers are not hot on them at present. Also, remember that the Seahawks are really hot coming into the playoffs and likely a 1st opponent for the Panthers in the divisional match-up.
So imagine that since the Panthers have a 1st round bye, they will be working on improving their defense for sure and seeking their 1st in franchise history a Super Bowl Title.
Those were the favorites and now let’s look at what many consider to be sleepers starting with the Pittsburgh Steelers whose present odds are +600 to win the Super Bowl 50 who made it to the playoffs stamping out the Jets of New York. The Steelers could be a negative factor to the remaining AFC Playoff teams. With their offensive talent and power and a tough defense, and a strong finish in the 2nd half of the regular season, and with a lot of past postseason experience they could be a very serious contending team in these playoffs and/or Super Bowl 50.
Their QB B. Roethlisberger for 3rd best in the NFL averaged for the season 329 passing yards each game, and is seeking a 3rd Super Bowl ring, after overlooking their struggles and injuries this season. With their injuries and their star RB L. Bell out, it’s amazing they have been able to play at this level and make it this far. If the Steelers can beat the Bengals on Saturday, then they have a good chance going deep into the playoff games.
Kansas City Chiefs
Then there are the Kansas City Chiefs one of the hottest teams coming into these 2015-16 playoffs and the postseason whose odds now are at a bargain +1,500, and that’s a great price as they come off their hot 10 game winning streak for 2015, and the best for the franchise.
There have been 9 teams that have won 10 consecutive games to win a season, and only 3 of those teams actually won a Super Bowl and the last was the Patriots back in the 2003 Super Bowl. However, there Coach Reid is not concerned about the statistics now that his defense is playing at their best and QB Smith is finally performing like a Super Bowl bound QB.
Similar to the Steelers the Chiefs are playing against an opponent that they know they can beat, even with the Texans solid defense, but their offense has been struggling this season. If they can win this game in dominate fashion on Saturday over the Texans then this would have been a good deal if you bet on the Chiefs, as many have pegged the Steelers as 1 and out!
Then the Long shot at odds of +2,500 are the Washington Redskins who are the present NFC East Champions who made it to the postseason and the playoffs.
What’s really amazing to the fans is that it was QB Cousins and not former QB R. Griffin III that brought them back to the postseason and the playoffs in this 2015-16 seasons. QB Cousins completed the season passing for at least 1 TD in all of his 16 games this season and with a completion rate at 69.9% the best in the NFL for completions in the regular season.
He started slow in the season but became unstoppable and has been the center and inspiration for the Redskins late season victories. The problem they face is their defense only were 1 and 4 with teams that had winning records for this 2015 season, and they face a 1st round strong opponent in the Packers of Green Bay.